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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggies fall short in instant classic against UNC

Sophomore+Mary+Stoiana+after+another+successful+set%26%23160%3Bat+Mitchell+Outdoor+Tennis+Center+on+Friday%2C+Jan.+20%2C+2023.
Photo by Connor May

Sophomore Mary Stoiana after another successful set at Mitchell Outdoor Tennis Center on Friday, Jan. 20, 2023.

The SuperBowl wasn’t the only nail-biter happening on Sunday, Feb. 12, as Texas A&M women’s tennis took on the University of North Carolina in the semifinals of the ITA indoor tennis championships.
The match, which featured two of the top three teams in the nation, came down to the wire in one of the most must watch performances of the season thus far.
The maroon and white haven’t lost the doubles point all season, and that continued as they took the 1-0 lead early on in Seattle. Senior Carson Branstine and sophomore Mary Stoiana struck first with their 6-1 win on the first court against freshman Reese Brantmeier and senior Elizabeth Scotty. Soon after, graduates Jayci Goldsmith and Salma Ewing closed out the doubles point for the Aggies with their 6-3 win on Court 2.
As play transitioned to singles, the action came down to the wire with four different courts entering deciding sets. After a strong win by freshman Daria Smetannikov, the Tarheels took a decisive 3-2 lead thanks to impressive wins by Brantmeier, Scotty and Fiona Crawley.
This top 3 matchup would ultimately come down to the action on Courts 3 and 4.
Court 3 featured a back-and-forth matchup between Ewing and sophomore Carson Tanguilig, while Court 4 saw Aggie freshman Mia Kupres face off against UNC graduate Abigail Forbes. Half way into each court’s third set, Kupres desperately held onto the lead in her match, while Ewing was fighting to stay alive in hers, saving multiple match points on two different occasions to keep the Aggies in it. Eventually, Tanguilig converted on her fifth match point to hand the Heels a 4-2 win and a trip to the finals. Their match finished 6-0, 4–6, 7-6 (2). The action on Court 4 did not finish, but Kupres and Forbes were on serve in the third.
This match ends the Aggies run in the Emerald City, and also brings an end to their undefeated start to the season. However, it was an impressive performance against the No. 2 team in the country.
“I am very proud of this amazing group,” A&M coach Mark Weaver said to 12thMan.com. “We came here to bring back a national title but just fell short to the three-time defending champions and it was a fight to the bitter end. Matches like this will make us stronger moving forward and the experience can really help us get across the finish line later on in the season.”
Next up for the Aggies is a series of out-of-conference matches at the USTA National Campus starting on Friday, Feb. 24. Meanwhile for the Tar Heels, a matchup with Georgia awaits them in the finals.

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